Wednesday, 09 June 2010

Tea Party Muscle Flexed in Nevada GOP Primary

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Sharron Angle’s victory in the Nevada GOP primary against Republicans Sue Lowden and Danny Tarkanian is indicative of Tea Party muscle. With 39 percent of the vote, versus 28 and 33 for Lowden and Tarkanian respectively, Angle will face off against Democrat Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid, whose approval rating has plunged to 35 percent.

Angle was officially endorsed by the Tea Party Express on April 15. Fox News reports that the Tea Party Express is “sponsored by the California-based Our Country Deserves Better PAC.” The group spent over $500,000 to promote Angle’s candidacy, and as such, brought about an awesome increase from her 5 percent approval rating in November to her current double-digit approval rating.

Prior to the endorsement of the Tea Party Express, former Nevada State Senator Lowden was leading in the three-way race. Fox News asserts that it was Lowden’s advocacy of a barter system for medical care that cost Lowden the lead.

Communications director for the Tea Party Express, Levi Russell, explains, “Sharron Angle earned our endorsement because she embodies the tea party message of financial sanity and empowering small and local businesses to thrive. We believe there is no question that the people of Nevada and of the entire nation will rally behind her and help send Harry back home to Searchlight.”

Angle intends to “phase out” Social Security for younger workers, dissolve the Education Department, a measure estimated to save $200 billion, and repeal the 16th Amendment that established the federal income tax. The movement to repeal the 16th Amendment has gained momentum in recent years, gaining the support of notorious conservatives like Glenn Beck and Andrew Napolitano.

Angle’s ideas appear to be music to Tea Partiers’ ears. In fact, Angle has officially declared: “I am the Tea Party.”

Not so fast. Real-estate developer Tarkanian also had the support of a Tea Party group: the Tennessee-based Tea Party Nation. In fact, Tarkanian has asserted that the Tea Party Express was not a true Tea Party, as it is not “anti-establishment” or a real “constitutionalist movement.”

Tarkanian declared, “It’s not the Tea Party”.

Angle is expected to face a difficult struggle against Reid, who won a fifth term easily against relatively unknown Democratic contenders. As it stands, the race is extremely close, showing Angle has a small lead against Reid, 44 to 41 percent.

“We have completed the first step to taking back our U.S. senate seat,” Angle declared. “We need to say to Harry Reid, you have failed and you are fired.”

Photo of Sharron Angle: AP Images

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